Florent Brard (Agritubel), who tested positive at a doping control during the Tour de l'Ain in 2002 and subsequently was suspended for 6 months, has been cleared by the French State Council (Conseil d'état). The rider had been treated with a product containing cortisone before the race, but his doctor had not included this in his medical record. Brard's contract with Crédit Agricole had been terminated at the time. "I only wanted to defend myself," said Brard after the decision. "I have no hard feelings but - I did the six months, after all."
The clearing of a professional bike rider by the State Council will most probably not be repeated, French daily L'Equipe reported. The handful of decisions that have been presented to the instance by the Council for prevention and fight against doping have never been annulled. "The important thing is that I have won on the matter itself, not on a procedure mistake," Brard told L'Equipe. "I knew what had happened, but nobody wanted to listen."